Presented by Steve Crawshaw
Tuesday, December 8, 2020, 1:00–2:00pm EST — Register Here
It has been both dismaying and inspiring to watch events in Belarus in recent months, with the continued violent repression of nonviolent resistance, that continues undimmed and undeterred. In their nonviolent struggle against brutal regime, Belarusian people resorted to various creative resistance actions that help engage people in mass noncooperation and disobedience against the regime, mock its ruler, mobilize others and peel off key regime supporters. At the time of writing, however, Alexander Lukashenko, who has retained power for 26 years in “Europe’s last dictatorship,” remains in the presidential palace.
Steve Crawshaw, author of Street Spirit: The Power of Protest and Mischief (foreword by Ai Weiwei), looks at what the history of nonviolent resistance, in the immediate region and worldwide, teaches us about the prospects for a democratic change propelled by civil resistance in Belarus today.
He specifically examines the use of creative actions, including humor, that have been a hallmark of nonviolent resistance. Although humor is often seen as a mere “add-on,” Crawshaw argues that it can be both effective and appropriate even in the most difficult circumstances. Such creativity has played a key role in successful outcomes of nonviolent movements, Crawshaw says.
About the Presenter
Steve Crawshaw is the author of Street Spirit: The Power of Protest and Mischief, foreword by Ai Weiwei, which has been translated into Arabic, Chinese and other languages.
He is policy director at Freedom from Torture. Before joining Freedom from Torture he worked in senior roles at Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. He was Russia and East Europe Editor and chief foreign correspondent of The Independent, covering the east European revolutions, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Balkan wars.
Street Spirit: The Power of Protest and Mischief by Steve Chrawshaw, foreward by Ai Weiwei
“How Solidarity Gives Hope to Belarus” by Steve Crawshaw, Unherd
“Why Civil Resistance Works” by Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth, International Security, 33(1).
“Review: Blueprint for a Revolution, a Fantastically Readable and Useful Handbook for Activists” by Duncan Green, The Guardian
“Havel Was a Giant for Eastern Europe Who Must Be Remembered” by Steve Crawshaw, The Independent
“The Power of the Powerless” by Vaclav Havel